Don Knotts was at the top of the comedy world in his time on television. Perhaps the best embodiment of being a comedy wizard was during his time on The Andy Griffith Show. During his years on the show, he played Barney Fife.
Barney Fife was a purely fictional character who was the town of Mayberry’s deputy sheriff. The character that Knotts played was well-intentioned, zealous, but altogether inept. Nonetheless, the television world fell in love with the goofy character.
All that being said, though, Don Knotts played a little trick on his young family when he was a part of The Andy Griffith Show. In a story from 2013 that aired on The Mount Airy News, Don Knotts’ daughter talked about her father. Karen Knotts told a hilarious story about how her father convinced his children that Barney Fife was real.
“When I was about 6, I realized that my dad, Don Knotts, was also that Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.” Karen Knotts also explained the trick he pulled on her. “He made us believe Barney Fife was a real person.”
While she doesn’t elaborate on how the joke started, it is still funny. It frames an excellent picture of how Don Knotts was when he wasn’t on the show. There are probably numerous jokes like this that he pulled on his family that go untold.
“The Andy Griffith Show” Actor’s World Changed While He Was Still in High School
In an interview from 2020 with Karen Knotts, she shared another bit of information about her father. Specifically, she talked about Don Knott’s significant change in high school.
In high school, Karen Knotts detailed, her father was the exact opposite of his character on The Andy Griffith Show. She explained how her father “blossomed” into his own person in his teenage years.
When Don Knotts was in high school, at Morgantown High School, in West Virginia, he finally understood what being emotionally free meant. According to The Andy Griffith Show actor’s daughter, his entire “world changed.”
The superstar actor’s daughter was interviewed by Closer Weekly. During which, she explained what made her father change so much.
“His whole world changed,” Karen said. “He just blossomed, and he said those high school years were the best years of his life. And, he was class president every year. He had a column in the yearbook that was called ‘Dots and Dashes by Knotts.’ He was the most popular boy, and he had this best friend, and they got into all of these adventures.”
“The world was his oyster,” Karen Knotts explained in the interview. “It was the first time he’d ever experienced such complete happiness. Where all those problems fell away, and there he was, living the beautiful life. Of course, things came back to haunt him later because he had a lifelong condition of hypochondria, which he battled. But he even conquered that in the end.”